The University Honors Program is a campus-wide program that includes honors course work and extracurricular activities throughout the four years of a student's undergraduate career. In addition to general university curriculum requirements and degree requirements of the selected major, USA Honors Students also complete enriched honors general studies courses, honors seminars, and an Honors Senior Project. A cornerstone of the program is that each student is assigned a faculty mentor, chosen from the student's major department, or suggested by the Honors Program until a major has been identified, who will direct the student through the research and scholarly experience that will culminate in an Honors Senior Project. Mentors will be outstanding faculty of the university.
Honors classes are small and are taught by the University’s most stimulating faculty. Specially scheduled scholarly presentations involve Honors Students and the wider academic community in a format that includes the opportunity to debate various issues and to listen to and interact with invited speakers and performing artists.
In addition to challenging academic activities, the University Honors Program offers a variety of activities that extend learning beyond the classroom including social and cultural activities and community service projects. All University Honors Students are required to participate on a continuing basis in community and campus service activities. University Honors Students are encouraged to participate in international programs and off-campus internships, and are assisted by the Program in applying for national and international scholarships (e.g., Fulbright and Rhodes scholarships, graduate and professional schools). University Honors Students are also given priority for registration and an option to select Honors Housing.
Students who complete the requirements of both the University Honors Program and of the selected major with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher (overall and in the major) will receive the designation "With University Honors" on the transcript. These requirements apply to all students accepted into the University Honors Program.
University Honors Program graduates will be specifically recognized in the graduation program. All courses completed for honors credit will be so indicated on the student's official transcript. Such achievements often represent the type of personal credentials sought by employers and graduate programs.Benefits of Participating in the USA Honors Program
Mentored by a member of the University faculty, thereby establishing a one-to-one academic relationship with a faculty mentor.•
Participate in scholarly projects with their faculty mentors during their undergraduate careers.•
Participate in community service projects in conjunction with their faculty mentors and other Honors Students, and in service-learning activities associated with specific courses.• Priority in registration.
Access to and use of the facilities and services of the Honors Center.•
Participate in special faculty/student/scholar seminars and cultural events.•
Participate in an annual Honors Senior Showcase presentation of Honors senior projects and recognition of graduating Honors students.•
Be encouraged to apply for national and international scholarships (e.g. Fulbright, Rhodes, etc.), and counseled and assisted in their efforts by the Honors Program office and the Office of Enrollment Services.•
Have opportunities to actively participate in national and international conferences with their faculty mentors.•
Will receive an Honors degree from the University.
Qualifications for Consideration for the University Honors Program
High school seniors with a minimum 27 ACT Composite (or comparable SAT score) and a minimum 3.5 high school grade-point average (4.0 system), as computed by the University of South Alabama, are invited to apply. USA students and transfer students who have completed no more than 32 semester hours with an overall grade-point average of 3.5 (4.0 system) are also eligible to apply to the program. Students without the above qualifications, who feel they have strong potential for success in the University Honors Program, are encouraged to submit an application package and documentation of evidence of their special qualifications for review by the Honors Admissions Committee. Students transferring from honors programs of other institutions may petition to receive credit for honors work completed elsewhere. Transfer students applying for admission to the University Honors Program should indicate any credit earned in other honors programs.
Qualifications to Maintain Status as a University Honors Student
University Honors Students must maintain satisfactory progress in the Honors Curriculum to remain in the University Honors Program. A minimum of 15 hours enrolled credit per semester is required for scholarship recipients unless otherwise indicated in the scholarship award. Required overall grade-point averages for Honors Students are 3.0 after the freshman year, 3.25 after the sophomore year and 3.5 after the junior year and from then throughout completion of the requirements for the Honors Degree. A student may be placed on honors probation for a period of one semester if the required GPA is not achieved, and must attain the required GPA at the end of the probationary semester in order to return to full status in the Honors Program.
Participants are expected to participate in community and campus service projects and to regularly attend cultural and scholarly events on campus and in the community. Service-learning components of credit-bearing courses may be counted toward the honors degree. These activities will be facilitated by the Honors Program Office and program mentors. Participation may be as a group or in individually focused activities.
By the Junior Year, each Honors Student will identify a suitable faculty mentor and will design and implement a Honors Senior Project. The project represents a scholarly effort appropriate to the major, including a significant component of investigation and written presentation. Juniors will present a prospectus of their project (e.g., and exhibition, research presentation or poster, or performance). The senior project will be judged and graded by a committee of three faculty chaired by the honors project mentor.
Honors Students are encouraged to participate in international study opportunities, independent research programs, and off-campus internships. The Honors Program Office maintains information on such opportunities and is available to assist students with applications and arrangements. Students will be encouraged to apply for national and international scholarship programs (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes, Eisenhower, etc.).
Departmental Honors Programs
A second honors option is available in many departments throughout the Colleges of the University of South Alabama. This option may be particularly suitable for transfer students, or others, who have completed significant credits toward graduation before deciding to pursue an honors degree, and for whom completing the entire University Honors curriculum would not be practical. To receive a designation of "Departmental Honors" on the diploma, students must successfully complete an Honors Senior Project in their major, have an overall grade-point average of at least 3.5, and meet the specific honors requirements of their major department. These students may also elect to take Honors Seminars and participate in other University Honors programs and activities upon the recommendation of their major advisor. Please consult departmental sections of the Bulletin for any additional honors requirements specific to your major.
Other Honors Options
For transfer students, or others, who have completed significant credits toward graduation, the specific curriculum requirements for the Honors Degree may be impracticable. Additionally, other non-honors students may find certain honors courses desirable while being unable to commit to the entire honors curriculum. Options available in these cases include enrollment in specific honors courses (indicated on the transcript as honors credit) with permission of the instructor when space is available, and/or pursuing and completing an appropriate Honors Senior Project. Students interested in these options should consult with the Honors Program Director and their major advisor.
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